I have a terrible weakness for cooking magazines. Even when I left Australia and moved to Switzerland, I couldn’t bear to give up my monthly fix of Donna Hay, Delicious and Gourmet Traveller magazines that I was prepared to sacrifice a portion of my salary to fund an overseas subscription to all three magazines (at a cost of double to triple the local price), and consequently buy a new bookshelf just to house my burgeoning collection.
On top of that, my French and German teachers have been perpetually reminding me that the best way to expand my vocabulary is to read the local newspapers. Except that reading the news in French and German is not a very exciting task for me, especially since I am not even in the habit of reading the news in English. But as I do enjoy very much learning French and German and am ever struggling to one day reach that point where I can declare myself fluent, I have been fuelling my magazine indulgence by also resorting to publications in French and German. The consequence is that I have an almost expert breadth of vocabulary when wanting to discuss recipes and cooking techniques in a foreign language, especially in German when I am perhaps using words which even a local would not be familiar with, but such a vocabulary is unfortunately not very useful for other daily chit-chat.
Such is my addiction to foodie magazines that I also pick up a copy or two whenever I am travelling, whether it is to the US where they have an amazingly wide range to choose from, or to Sweden where I have no idea what the text is about but the gorgeous photos themselves make the magazine worth buying.
And despite the volumes and volumes of magazines that are piling up dangerously around our home, I find I rarely cook from them! I know I am not the only one in this situation, but it is nevertheless a baffling position to be in. I gather a lot of inspiration and ideas from cooking magazines, whether it is in the recipes themselves or from the photography and food styling, but so few recipes actually make me leap towards the kitchen with a clear goal for dinner.
So I made it part of my New Year’s resolutions for this year to try and cook from each of my foodie magazines at least once a month. And my progress so far? Not so good. I have probably attempted 2 or 3 recipes this year, each with little success (hence, they have not appeared on my blog), which has only served to reinforce the notion that cooking magazines seem to be better coffee table material than kitchen-counter worthy. I am hoping that this theory will be proven wrong, if not to justify maintaining my expensive overseas subscriptions.
Nevertheless, I still try to make an effort whenever a recipe tickles my fancy, and this recipe for Apple Crumble Tea Cake happens to be a winner. The recipe comes from Real Living magazine, an Australian interior decorating magazine with a wonderful gardening and food section which makes me terribly homesick everytime I flick through the pages, but which also makes me feel somewhat connected to what’s going on in the land Down Under.
Although it is currently summer in Europe and the evenings have been quite balmy as of late, this Apple Crumble Tea Cake is hard to go past for something sweet and comforting when the rain starts to roll in by the late evening for some much needed cooling. I love apple crumble on its own, but this light and fluffy tea cake is the perfect pairing. I love the addition of milk and cream in the batter which helps to give a lovely, moist cake. And if you’re a fan of cinnamon, I would recommend that you up the quantities for some extra warmth and spice.
Although the tea cake is lovely served warm from the oven, it also keeps quite well under a covered dish for a few days, perfect with a cup of tea.
The recipe is also available online here.